A town on the west bank of the Nile just south of the city of Asyut in the province of Asyut. Abu Tij served in antiquity as the depot for grain gathered for shipment to Rome. Accordingly it was known in Egyptian as Pa-Chna and in Greek as Apotheke, both of which mean “depot.” The Copts transliterated the Greek name and used it as their own designation for the city. The Arabic Abu Tij is based on this Greek-Coptic term.
The name of the town makes its first appearance in Christian sources in medieval Coptic-Arabic scales and the first attestation of a bishop in Abu Tij is from the thirteenth century. The HISTORY OF THE PATRIARCHS states that there was a church of Abu Bishah just south of Abu Tij, in which the body of Abu Bishah and that of the martyr Bishyah or Bibsiyah were preserved in two chests. ABU SALIH THE ARMENIAN apparently meant the same church when he wrote that the bones of Pachomius and Shenute were preserved in two chests in a church south of Abu Tij. A Coptic church of Macarius, the age of which is unknown, still stands in Abu Tij.
[See also: Pilgrimages.]
- Amelineau, E. La Géographie de l’Egypte á l’époque copte, pp. 11-12. Paris, 1893.
- Timm, S. Das christlich-koptische Ägypten in arabischer Zeit, pt. 1, pp. 57-59. Wiesbaden, 1984.